Women and Minorities in Disney Movies
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The Gospel of Truth about Stereotypes in Disney’s "Hercules"

The Gospel of Truth about Stereotypes in Disney’s "Hercules" | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
  Abstract             This paper analyzes and discusses prevalent stereotypes in Disney’s 1997 animated film, Hercules, given the impressionable audience of the film. Using ten stereotypical insta...
Group Five's insight:

The author presents in this article an well developped and argued assesment of the presentation of types in this blog.  This examination ranges in types from Cultual to Gender.  Areas such as the battle of good and evil walk hand in hand with an examination of the promotion of consumerism in this article.  Minute details such as the accents of characters are addressed in this well written article.  To provide full evicence of the veracity of thier claims, the author includes a Bibliography at the end for the reader to peruse.  Indeed the article attempts to charge after Disney with such vigor, that often the author seems to take thier own arguements too seriously.

An examination of the arguements finds that many do a good job of provoking thought.  Although they do contain the commonplace remarks such as the unrealistic depictions of the female forms, these pedestrian arguements are also found in that the authors attack on consumerism is based on the fact that the search for wealth and fame is what got the characters into all the troubles in the first place.  Although some may find the arguements challenging, at the end of the article, the author seems to have forgotten that this film was a comedy and should be taken as such. - ARG

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Feminist Disney, stubmle: soccon: yuriadventure: ...

Feminist Disney, stubmle: soccon: yuriadventure: ... | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
stubmle:
“ soccon:
“ yuriadventure:
“ medievalpoc:
“ boilingheart:
“ medievalpoc:
“ feministdisney:
“ bigscarytiger:
“ feministdisney:
“ (someone erased my original captioning, but it...
Group Five's insight:

Tumblr is an interesting place to find commentary about issues. This Tumblr, in particular, focuses on feminist issues and Disney. This particular post has over 10,000 notes and have incited people to comment using citations and proof.

 

The post original began as Disney princesses questions why no "POC" or person of color, are present in their films. The initial response was that in Scotland, to be historically accurate, people of color were not present. 

 

The discussion slowly builds into a discussion about the white-washing of history. I feel this post is interesting in that several points are discussed:

1. Is entertainment just entertainment? Or should it be taken seriously?

2. Historical accuracy is important but knowing what is accurate take research and time.

3. The affect of perpetuating ignorance.


In the end, user yuriadventure sums up the discussion quite nicely.


"how quickly the white people went from “it’s historically inaccurate to have poc” to “who cares about HISTORY it’s FICTION” with like no self-awareness"


While articles are always good to read. Discussions can bring forth a microcosm of opinions that reveal where we stand on important topics. [LC]

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Is The Portrayal of Ravi On Disney Channel’s “Jessie” Racist, Unfunny, or Both?

Is The Portrayal of Ravi On Disney Channel’s “Jessie” Racist, Unfunny, or Both? | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
I have written before about the character of Ravi on the Disney Channel’s Jessie show and talked about how some wonder why this Indian American character has to have an accent.  The reason why is apparent in this clip which makes Ravi’s Indian...
Group Five's insight:

This is a great article based off a clip from a Disney Channel show, "Jessie". While this is a show and not a movie, I feel it is important to bring forward. 

 

Many of Disney movies are often based from TV shows (think Hannah Montana or Zach and Cody). While Disney movies are much larger in scale, these shows are aimed at the same audiences. 

 

In this clip, Ravi wears his sherwani, a formal dress, to celebrate good news from his tutor. The boy's young friend responds with jokes and teasing. Jessie, the female lead, dismisses the meaning of his dress and tells Luke to stick up for him. 

 

Instead of portaying characters interested in other cultures traditions, they make low-brow jokes. The shame in this is that Disney shows are to provide and educational factor to their "kid'" shows. This could have been one of those learning moments--and in a way it is. It reinforces the idea that traditions of other cultures will not be respected in the U.S. [LC]

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The Beauty and the Beast: An Analysis of Stereotypes

The Beauty and the Beast: An Analysis of Stereotypes | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Abstract The Walt Disney Corporation is a dominating force in the realm of children movies. Disney films have been notoriously laden with gender stereotypes. However, the Disney classic “Beauty and...
Group Five's insight:

In a blog entry Christine Saliba builds an arguement around the presentation of 'types' within Disney's Beauty and the Beast. 

Once the introductory phrases against the domination of Disney in culture are given, Saliba presents a well fashioned presentation divided into four arguments.  Her two strongest arguments deal with treatments of gender.  A section on Social hierarchy seems uninspired, while the weakest section deals with her assessment of Racial stereotypes.  Despite the weaknesses however, her concluding statements on a reassessment of types found in Beauty and the Beast does provoke.

In the two strongest sections, Saliba does display original thinking.  The fact that Belle “is a nerdy introvert,” is a breaking of Disney’s princess role.  The fact that Gaston, one who is seen as handsome and manly by the townspeople is found to be “rude, conceited, and ignorant” by Belle.  A further break with the Disney mold, according to SIliba is that the ‘hero’, the Beast, is first depicted “repulsively ugly” and a horrible monster.  The fact that the Beast is sensitive and caring compared to Gaston’s macho indifference plays with Disney’s former ‘princess’ theme. 

 

Rather than finding the playing of Belle against type however, Saliba finds that it plays into the Disney type.  Once the treatment of her physical attributes is concluded, Saliba finds further reinforcement of Gender types within Belle.  Though she may read books and seem to be different, this passion is dropped once she meets “her Prince Charming.”  With this surrender, Saliba points out that the conversion to the Disney princess role is complete as “all Disney princesses are incomplete without a man.”

 

In regards to her argument on Social hierarchy, her points and the section seem uninspired.  Beyond the broad generalization that the people seem to be happy working for their overlords Saliba proceeds to dispassionately describe.  Through the person of the LeFou, Saliba describes a man constantly beaten both physically and emotionally.  Though he is resourceful, Saliba points out that he is portrayed as nothing but a “dumb sidekick.”  From this one character she then falls to the generalization that in Beauty and the Beast “servants were destined to serve their bosses” despite unfair treatment.  An argument that seemed to be raised without evidence. 

 

This lack of evidence however is present in Saliba’s treatment of racial stereotypes.  In a moment of trying to make something, the ‘racism’ Saliba found was the differing treatments of the French and the English.  Rather than delivering a tanible argument on ethnicity, Saliba’s argument is never fully flushed out.

 

In conclusion, the weaknesses of the last two sections discussed should not cause the reader to dismiss her argument.  Her cry for a reexamination of gender roles in her first area discussed should not go unheeded.  Saliba’s arguments and proofs in the first two sections should provoke re-examination of watching the princess role in Disney. - ARG

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Blacks and Whites both accuse Disneyland of racism

Blacks and Whites both accuse Disneyland of racism | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Mickey and his pals have some explaining to do. After going public last week with a discrimination lawsuit he’s waging against Disneyland, a California attorney says he’s hearing all sorts of allegations about employees of the amusement park.
Group Five's insight:

I've always focused on the racism that is found in the movies and the media of Disney, but never considered the actual act of racism in the Disneyland Park. I don't think the entire park should be judged as racist because these were just 2 cases. Unless these continue and it happens repeatedly, these were 2 individual isolated incidences.

 

Disney as a whole cannot be blamed for these cases because it is dependent on the people who were dressed as the characters. Those people may be racist themselves but that is a personal problem that needs to be resolved by their employers. To say that these 2 cases automatically make Disney racist is an exaggeration. It would need to happen on a regular basis to be considered racist. Although many of the Disney media has been labeled racist, hopefully the amusement parks won't follow. - [CT]

 

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The Jungle Book: Colonial Propaganda or Wholesome Family Fun?

The Jungle Book: Colonial Propaganda or Wholesome Family Fun? | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
The Jungle Book: Colonial Propaganda or Wholesome Family Fun? American University of Beirut Rami Yashruti Abstract This paper analyzes the discriminatory undertones of Disney’s The Jungle Book, exa...
Group Five's insight:

In an abstract of Disney's The Jungle Book, Rami Yashruti accesses difficulties present in depictions of "social class, race, nationality and gender."  In an arguement that details some potential offences Yashruti concludes  that it seems to be family fun.This conclusion may seem to surprise the reader.  Yashruti does not hesitate to point out many fo the offences in race, gender, and class. 

Yashruti brings forward many racial sterotypes.  The large orangutan King Louie,  for example, "can be viewed as a mockery of Arican-American culture that, according to the song "I Wanna Be Like You" longs to be white, but will always "be 'monkeys'."  The New York/Jersey accent of Baloo, combined with his lacadasical attitude towards work "might represent the popular racist view that "immigrants" are lazy." 

 

Yashruti also details Disney's depiction of women.  Yahruti found only two 'women' in the film.  The first is the wife of Col. Hardy and an unnamed female.  Both are distant with Col. Hardy's wife described as  holding an "aura of royalty and nobility around her" while the unnamed female simply seduces Mowgli with her beauty.


In depecitons of class, although Yashruti depicts Baloo as a "working class hero"--his sloth is a negative trait.  While symbols of British colonialism as seen in the elephants speak in "British noble accents," working class accents are "reserved for the "bums."        

In his conculusion however, Yashruti Points out that it is not that stong of an offence.  Despite his examples, Yashruti found the characters as "not distinctly racist, sexist, or class-ist."  Although the working class characters drew the most criticism, Yashruti points out that it is they that are victorious in the end.  While they may have some character traits that Yashruti hopes that children do not emulate, that might be its biggest danger.  - ARG

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Race and Gender in “The Princess and the Frog” » Sociological Images

Race and Gender in “The Princess and the Frog” » Sociological Images | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Group Five's insight:

In writing for Sociological Images, Gwen Sharp put together an good combination of visual images and commentary in the assesment of Race and Gender in Disney's "The Princess and the Frog."  In a level headed assesment, Sharp details some of the difficulties and criticisms faced in Disney's first fierlm starring an African-American Princess.  While the article starts out strong, by the end Sharp dismissively reveals that the critique was rushed.  

The author does not hesitate to point out that this was a sensitive subject.  The author points out many areas of potential danger.  Some argued that as her (the princess character--Tiana) position was a maid, brought forward many negative sterotypes.  Although the author points out that many white women "took jobs as domestic servants" it took on potentially different connotations as the main character was a black woman.  Unlike the White Cinderella, Sharp detailed how many worried that with a black character it would go beyond a discriptor of an individual and potentailly make Tiana more of a "Mammy" figure.  Sharp also detailed how the witch doctor in the trailer, Dr. Faciler, cloosely resembled "cartoonish images of pimps.' 

Though in her article Sharp dealt with the difficulty Disney faced. 
As the part was orginally writen for a white character, Sharp seems to offer apologetics for some of the offences.  In trying to place a Black protagonist in New Orleans, Sharp offers that the creators may have "unthinkingly repoduced sterotypes."  For Sharp, althought the film might contain some errors, Disney labored to avoid offense.  Not only was the author privy to an ealy release of the trailer, but Disney recut the trailer in order to reduce offence.

In a final assesment of this blog, the author labors to bring in many views.  In bringing forward the reviews of critics Margret Lyons and John Lewis the author attempts to display the views of others.  In their writing however, the author dismisses much of the criticism... right before she apoligized that this was the best critique they had written.   Indeed, they had not even had time to view the film.  While some of the arguements rang with potential validity, the honesty in the conclusion weakend the articles authority.

-ARG  

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Jennifer Lee to Co-Direct Disney's 'Frozen'; Women Helmers Still Minority in Animated Features

Jennifer Lee to Co-Direct Disney's 'Frozen'; Women Helmers Still Minority in Animated Features | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Disney has tapped Jennifer Lee to co-direct the studio's 53rd animated feature "Frozen" with Chris Buck.
Group Five's insight:

For the first time in history a female is given the title of director for a Disney animated film. Usually men have always directed Disney animated films. Women have played a key role in producing these films but never have been named directors. Jennifer Lee breaks the status quo in directing Disney animated films this year with her film "Frozen".

 

However, she is not the sole director of the film. Her male counterpart, Chris Buck co-directed it with her. Although she does have the title of director, it is not solely her role. Interesting take on feminism and minorities in the actual production of Disney animated films though. I had never considered the workplace as a facet of Disney's minorities and feminism. Usually we just stay focused on the actual representation in the films themselves. Good perspective and reason to pay attention to the films themselves as well as the men and women directing and producing them. - [CT]

 

 

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Sexism and stereotypes in 'Toy Story 3?' - CNN.com

Sexism and stereotypes in 'Toy Story 3?' - CNN.com | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
"Toy Story 3" has been receiving nothing but praise. It's topped the box office for two weeks in a row and has pulled in $226 million so far. Not to mention that critics are lauding it as the saving grace in a horribly blah summer movie season.
Group Five's insight:

Toy Story 3 was one of Disney's highest grossing movies in the past decade. It has great reviews; however one woman, Natalie Wilson disagreed and called out sexism throughout the movie.

 

Two examples she included in the article were the ratio of the number of boy toys compared to girl toys and the way Ken and Barbie are portrayed in the film. She makes the claim that there are about 3 times more boy toys than girl toys. However, that is logical because Andy, their owner is a guy. Also, she claims that Ken is seen in a negative light that discriminates boys who are homosexual. Barbie on the other hand acts the way a stereotypical Barbie does.

 

Wilson, calls out Disney with these two examples, and claims they are being sexist. However, I have to agree with the people that wrote this article about Wilson's claims and say that Disney isn't being sexist in this movie. Sure there are more guy toys but that doesn't mean that Disney doesn't care about the female characters. It just makes sense that there would be more male roles to fit the plot line. It has nothing to do with favoring one gender over the other. The other argument about Ken and Barbie cannot be pushed onto Disney. Ken and Barbie have always been represented stereotypically the way they are in Toy Story 3. Disney was just accurately portraying the stereotype that has been in place for years.

 

However, Disney could have cleverly broken the stereotypes of Ken and Barbie by portraying them in different ways. It might have gotten a lot of interesting debate but it could maybe make the story even better. When it's all said and done, I think Disney did a great job on Toy Story 3 and they have come a long way in terms of sexism. They are much better now at avoiding that and when they can't, they at least convey it in a positive light. - [CT]

 

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The 9 Most Racist Disney Characters

The 9 Most Racist Disney Characters | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
These old Disney movies are a little bit like your aging Uncle Frank. Honestly, he means well when he points out that Will Smith is \
Group Five's insight:

Interesting looks at some of Disney's old characters and how they are portrayed as racist. As great of an argument that people try to present about these characters in particular, I have to defend Disney. Although some of them definitely stereotype races, there has to be consideration for the fact that other people not related to Disney often wrote these movies and songs. Plus, take into consideration that many of these films were written and produced in the early and mid-20th century in which case they could be based on what was going on culturally and historically in society at the time.

 

It was entertaining to read through all of the discussion back and forth about these characters. I have to agree with more of the people that defend Disney rather than the ones that call out racism because the one's who call out racism are partially being racist themselves by determining what's racism and what's not and certain Disney films.

 

Overall, good read. Interesting to see that most of the stereotyping and racism occurred prior to the 1970s. - [CT]

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Women and Gender in Musicals Week: Accidental Feminism in ‘Mary Poppins’ | Bitch Flicks

Women and Gender in Musicals Week: Accidental Feminism in ‘Mary Poppins’ | Bitch Flicks | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Group Five's insight:

Megan Kearns is a prolific writer for a site that devoted to critiques of  women in film and television with a femminist slant: Bitch Flicks.  While recent articles have included discussions of the "unique female hero" in Gravity, and the toxicity of 'Hyper-masculinity' found in Man of Steel, on September 25, 2012 she turned her gaze towards Mary Poppins.  In a clever article, Kearns focuses on the advance of Feminism though Mary Poppins.  

 

In her artcle "Accidental Feminism in 'Mary Poppins' Meagan Kearns focuses on how the supporting female roles advance Feminism due in subtle subversion.  Kearns finds that the main charachter, Mary Poppins, simply reinforces tradisonal female roles within a patriarchical society.  Though a strong female, beyond her whimsy, Kearns argues that the only thing that makes Mary Poppins stand out according to the film is her beauty.  In the film, Kearns points out that Mary Poppins is continually preening or 'gazing at her reflection.'  Kearns argues that this, in turn, reinforces that Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way "due to her attractiveness."

 

It is not the Julie Andrew's role that advances feminism for Kearns, but the fact that talented and famous actress Glynis Johns beleived that she would be chosen for Poppins.  When this did not happen, to keep her for the film, Walt Disney promised that she would have a "phonomenal solo."  Having to locate an issue and compose a song within a few hours, Kearns points out how songwritters Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman wrote "Sister Suffragette" and begins to fashion the character Johns would play--Winfred Banks.  This seemed like a perfect solution Kearns argues, as it would allow the need for a Nanny.  Her bouts of political advancements for women would take her out of the home.  Yet, just as her husband, Mr. Banks, pays dilligent attention to the bank outside of the home for the sake of the home, Mrs. Banks political activity outside of the home is also for the sake of the home.  Kearns argues this by pointing out that Mrs. Banks gives sufferagette sashes to the maid, the cook, and Katie Nana.  For Kearns this blended the political and the personal in WInfred Banks from the very beginning.  This overt stance calling for feminist solidarity was far ahead of its time.

 

Kearns recognizes that some may point out the submissive role that Winfred Banks played dimished femminism.  This is argued in the continued submission of suffrage wants to assuage the will of her husband.  Kearns rebuffs this however, by pointing out that although she may submit with her voice, WInfred's will endures as she continues her political activity.

 

In concluding her arguement, Kearns places Mary Poppins as an overtly Femmist film.  Beyond posessing moments of "feminist clarity,' Keans points out its arguements for gender equality and sisterly solidarity.  It the battle between traditional gender roles and its rallying against Kearns argues that Mary Poppins reminds and reinforces the need for women to speak thier minds and fight for their rights.  - ARG

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Disney and how they portray racism through sound

I'm looking at how Disney films portray racist stereotypes through sound.
Group Five's insight:

Often when we think of racism we think of the way characters are visually represented or how they sound as a character. However, rarely do we ever consider the song lyrics and how they stereotypically depict a certain culture or race.

 

I had never even noticed the lyrics to these Disney songs until I ran across this video. Of course, you don't usually pay attention to song lyrics as a kid. But the fact of the matter is that songs are being used to stereotypically depict races in a negative way. This is an interesting approach to racism in Disney movies that I never considered. Sounds and songs can be racist too. - [CT]

 

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WATCH: Disney Princess Revealed To Be Bisexual

WATCH: Disney Princess Revealed To Be Bisexual | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
New ground was broken this week when a member of Disney's iconic Princess franchise was queered and it was revealed that Mulan is bisexual.
Group Five's insight:

In an article appearing in the Huffington Post (10/15/2013), James Nicholas announces that Mulan of Disney's Princess franchise is bisexual.  This assessment is based on Mulan's amission on the ABC series ""Once upon a time" where Mulan pronounces her "unrequitted love" for princess Aurora in a "heartbreaking scene" that he provides for his readers.  Ths seems to be a vaunting leap forward for the LGBT community... however, much like the show it emerged from, it is little more than a fairy tale placed in the real world.

So what of the "gender bashing scene" provided for the reader?  It seems to reflect the fariy tale world that Disney places forward.  Although it promissed to show Mulan proclaiming her love for Aurora it does not.  Now there are acceptable hints to Mulan's Bisexuality perchance if one only puts cartoonish 'masculine traits' on a female.  To begin with, our female warrior is still strong.  Not only did Mulan seemngly save one of Robin Hood's Merry Men, but she was also offered a position, "though she would be the first woman" adds Robin Hood.  When she goes to tell Aurora of her love for her, it is revealed that Aurora is pregnant with her loves child.  It is then, refective of a gritty film noir, Mulan announces that she is going to join the Merry men.  While for Disney this may have been a very large step, as only a hint would be embraced by the LGBT community, only a hint is given.

 

But why might of Mr. Nicols have misled his readers into beleiving the varacity of his claims?  Although one might argue that enen the hint of bisexuality is rahter liberal of the Disney corporation, if one digs deeper they might discover the reason why Disney made this choice.  Nicholas points out that GLAAD  found that the appearance of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) charactres on Television series was diminishing.  In turn, the critical reader will observe that this seeming flirtation with Bisexuality might onbly be a ploy for Disney to stay politically correct, the safest way Disney can. 

 

Should Nicholas be repremanded for this article?  No, not really.  From the litany of articles that appeared announcing this admission, it seems to merely be another part of the Disney corporation wanting to place a positive spin while remaining safe.  - ARG 

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Disney’s Sublimely Subversive ‘Frozen’ Isn’t Your Typical Princess Movie

Disney’s Sublimely Subversive ‘Frozen’ Isn’t Your Typical Princess Movie | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Group Five's insight:

First, I want to start by saying I have not seen "Frozen". However, this film features one of the Disney's first female animators. 

 

In this article, Melissa Leon argues that "Frozen" actually debunks Disney traditions in movies. She goes further to say a man never rescues the princesses, but rather they save themselves. 

 

Anna, one of the sisters, sings about finding Mr.Right and gets married shortly after. However, Leon argues the town of "Frozen" knows this is wrong and works against the marriage. In turn, proving to Anna she is being ridiculous about love. 

 

The author makes one comment in here I find to be resonating.

 

"True, Anna and Elsa are still pretty princesses—the most uncreative role given to women in children’s movies. (Why “princess” is still animators’ default choice for lead female characters is confusing; Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films consistently have girls carry a film without a tiara.)"

 

Studio Ghibli are international films where females usually dominate the main role. These films are creative 2D animations where worlds are created that have never been seen. This is an intersting moment in the article because in 2014, Disney will be acquiring Studio Ghibli. Most are worried about Disney ruining Ghibli's style of film. (See full article here: http://ghiblicon.blogspot.com/2013/04/breaking-disney-to-acquire-studio.html)

 

While I hope "Frozen" really does exemplify Disney becoming more progressive with their female characters, there needs to be more. [LC]

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Disney's Dolls -- New Internationalist

Disney's Dolls -- New Internationalist | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Disney's Dolls
Group Five's insight:

This article was actually posted in 1998, shortly before Mulan hit the US Markets. This article discusses the common portrayals of women in Disney films. However, the true anger comes from Disney's taking of a real-person and making her motivations divert toward finding a mate. 

 

" If a woman is only pretty and sweet enough, she can transform an abusive man into a prince – forever."--Kathi Maio

 

This article touches not only on the destructive nature of fictionalizing history but also the messages sent to the viewers. In this lies the problem with Disney's progress--this articles was written more than a decade ago. However, Disney has just recently made a film where a woman doesn't seek the hand of a man ("Brave").

 

Disney is a mega-corporation. What they have found is a cookie-cutter story arc to make them money. This rubric gives in to the white, male-dominated, patriarchal customs of the United States. [LC]

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10 Real World Princesses Who Don't Need Disney Glitter

10 Real World Princesses Who Don't Need Disney Glitter | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
10 Real World Princesses Who Don't Need Disney Glitter - The Huffington Post
Group Five's insight:

This satirical article gives women who are often considered positive role models a Disney makeover. These women include: Hillary Clinton, Rosa Parks, Jane Goodall,  and Malala Yousafzai. 

 

The first thing to say is the internet often lends itself to being misinterpretted. This article became popular overnight but many commentors did not realize it was satire. The author of the images, David Trumble, actually adjusted Anne Frank's princess title to "Diary Princess" from "Holocaust Princess". 

 

For each princess, it is important to realize where the satire lies. First, all the princesses must have sparkles. Second, each must be in flowing garb. Third, and most striking, is the pose of each character. Dainty looks, tilted heads, perked wrists, and folded hands. All signs of a submissive, and demure female. 

 

Satire is not for everyone and often times not appreciated. These real-life women become unrecognizable as a Disney princess. This is where the satire is achieved; the standard template becomes ridiculous. The history of accomplishments are diminished by the alterations made to have each women look "acceptable".

 

It is a shame that many responded in wanting to know where they can purchase these dolls-- my hope is they will consider the repercussions.  I feel this quote from the article best represents why these satirical images are important. 

 

"The statement I wanted to make was that it makes no sense to put these real-life women into one limited template, so why then are we doing it to our fictitious heroines?"--David Truman [LC]

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Disney's Pocahontas reconsidered

Disney's Pocahontas reconsidered | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Fifteen years ago when Walt Disney's Pocahontas was released, it was the Princess movie everyone loved to hate:  feminists were appalled by the buxom babe makeover of the title protagonist, who was...
Group Five's insight:

In a femminist historical jornal Historiann, an editorial comment is delivered about Disney's Pocahontas.  The commentor points to numerous areas of controversy that the film garnered. Environmentalists, Femminists, and even Conservatives all found an area of dispute with the films depictioin. 

The one item that the commentor seems to almost laugh at is the "caroonishly improbable body" that Pocahontas has.  Although Pocahontas appears to have had breast implants, she is no more revealing in dress than Ariel.

These shortcomings seem to be dismissed however as the editor lists four items they found positive about the film.  The portrayal of the Powhatan Indians, the culture clash, "English rapacity" of the environmnet, and the weaving of the tale is described as "brilliant."  Defining the film as little more than a Disney princess movie, the editor believes that the postive depictions and production values outweigh other criticisms. - ARG    

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Wall-E Review: From a Feminist's perspective

Wall-E Review: From a Feminist's perspective | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Despite the names Wall-E and Eva (the female protagonist) these two characters are predominantly genderless, and one has to question why Pixar decided to go with a male name, especially when Wall-E...
Group Five's insight:

After recently watching WALL-E, I decided to search for opinions on the way the robots are represented in the film. To me it seems obvious that viewers automatically assign sexes to each of the robots. Wally can be assumed to be male and Eve can be assumed to be female. Although those are obvious stereotypical perspectives in the way the robots are represented, it does not come across as offensive.

 

Although our perspectives of the robots are male and female, they aren't necessarily supposed to be one sex or the other. These robots can be seen as "sexless". Both of them show various characteristics that humans display, regardless of sex. Wally is very emotional and loving like all humans can be. Eve starts off very defensive and technological in the beginning but over time develops into more a human through the love that Wally shows. A romance develops between the two which gives way to assigning them both roles as male and female. However, the film does not seem to focus on the stereotypical roles of each sex. It is more concerned with the fact that all humans regardless of their sex have a need to connect to the environment they live in. They have lost connection to their home on Earth and everything has become mechanical and robotic, lacking human emotion or love. Through the love of Wally and Eve, the Earth can be restored to its original state.

 

The blogger that wrote this article had an interesting view in regards to the fact that since Eve held the plant inside her, she was regarded as a female whose only purpose was reproduction or repopulating the earth with life. I had never thought of that perspective before. It defiantly makes me reconsider the sexes of the robots, but it doesn't make me think Pixar was sexist in any way. It is naturally the role of a woman to reproduce, so in that respect I don't think Pixar was being stereotypical at all.

 

Over all, a great film which dives deeper into the need for human relationships with each other and the environment around them in order to maintain sustainability. Read another article that explains the deeper meaning and purpose behind the film: http://www.michaelhanscom.com/eclecticism/2007/10/03/misogyn%E2%80%A2e/http://www.michaelhanscom.com/eclecticism/2007/10/03/misogyn%E2%80%A2e/

 

- [CT]

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World History Connected | Vol. 5 No. 1 | John Murnane: Reversing the "Disneyfication" Process: Using Disney Films to Debunk Stereotypes and Oversimplification In Middle and High School Social Scien...

Group Five's insight:

In a well considered arguement, John Murnane details what should be done about the dominance of Disney.  He does not dimish or devalue the critics, but with an interesting examination, he points to what should be done with Disney.

From the very beginning Murane does not hide the dominance of Disney.  "  He stands in total agreement with Barbara Meltz who found that "as the biggest player in children's entertainment... it sets the adgenda for everyone else."  A worldwide agenda that Murane agrees with Henry A. Giroux found "[shapes] public memory, national identity, gender roles, and childhood values."  This leads to a Disney "backdrop" that provides many students with a larger view of the world.  While on hte one hand htis exposure is good, Murane points out how it is also somewhat fractured.

Rather than running from the discrepencies however, Murnane points out how they should be addressed.  Though the questioning of the films, Murane points out how critical thinking skills and nuance comprehension can be sharpened.  Murnane points towards Mulan as an excellent introduction to Confucian thought and the role of gender during Ming Dynasty China.  The film Aladin, with its depiciton of a barborous nations peopled by nomads, offeres an excellent launching point for discussion and evaluation of the rich history of the Middle east and its "intricate body of Arab and Persian literature" and its accomplishments in art and literature.  In his arguement for Africa, Disney has tavelled from the Tarzan movies where he seems to be the only person on the continent (besides Jane) to The Lion King that emplaces Western values and styles upon African society.  Murnane's answer is for the teacher to run to these contradictions as an excellent starting point for student introduction to the societies of the Niger delta with the Jenne-jeno peoples who were "extraordinarially peaceful" and civilized.

In conclsion, Murnane embraces Disney.  The reason for this  is that the company provided a foundation for opportunities "for student analysis and recognition of stereotypes and oversimplification in the study of history and the social sciences."  Beyond the examples he detailed, Murnane points out how other Disney films, such as The Jungle Book, Pocahontas, Song of the South, could all be expnded for guided analysis.  To assist teachers in accomplishing this goal, Murnane included an appendix of five Lesson Plan ideas, and hope on how to address the Disney juggernaut.  His positive outlook and proactive steps make this a valid article for any teacher of the Social sciences to read.  -ARG

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Minority Princess Meme - Tumblr

Minority Princess Meme - Tumblr | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Group Five's insight:

Interesting perspective on the amount of representation of Disney princess minorities in films. Although this is true, most animated film and TV media has been based on an all-white society. However, as the 21st century has progressed there has been a greater representation of various races in animated media. This is true though, Disney really does need a Latina princess.

 

As much complaining as there is about the lack of minorities in Disney animated films, I have a positive remark to add. I actually enjoy the Disney movies that show minorities and give equal representation to the diversity of the world around us. It allows for children to gain a greater understanding of the diversity of the world. It's not just all-white America. Minorities in Disney films, although limited are great as long as the appropriately represent each race.

 

Since Disney is an American company it obviously allows for a greater representation of white characters. Although, with the changing population of the races represented in America, animated film and TV media is following the shift in race representation. There may be a lot of criticism now, but give Disney a little time; they'll come up with more films that give attention to races that have been under represented in the years to come. - [CT]

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Disney and Feminism Part 1

I do not own any of these songs or clips! It all belongs to Disney © Disney. All Rights Reserved.
Group Five's insight:

I think it’s interesting how female leads in Disney movies have changed over the years. Up until the past 20 years or so, most female Disney characters were objects to be looked at. They were expected to look pretty, do house work, and wait for their prince charming. Their roles were never very active. These ladies passively let life go by as if they had no control.

 

Then in 1992 when Aladdin was released, there was a shift when Aladdin realized it was important to value Jasmine herself, rather than just her looks and status. In 1995, Pocahontas pioneered future Disney females to become active in the life choices they make. Ever since then, especially as society has changed and women have become more actively involved in it, the female leads have become stronger more confident women.

 

Disney has come a long way in their lead female characters. This begs the question: Are male Disney characters now being seen as weak? Has the strength of the genders shifted in the past 20 years? Will this affect the way men are viewed in future Disney movies? Only time will tell. - [CT]

 

P.S. - This video comes in 2 parts and I shared the first part. So, here is the link to the second one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtDd1wJ8ULs 

 

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The Disney Princess Identity

The Disney Princess Identity | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
I’ve been thinking more about what exactly bothers me about Disney’s princess franchise. I actually like Disney movies (Jasmine is my favorite Princess!), but one can separate pleasure of the...
Group Five's insight:

Interesting take on the activity vs. passivity of the roles of Disney princesses in the movies. Usually I think of the stereotypical roles that women do play. However, this post talks about how we develop this idea that to be a princess is to be served and look nice rather than actually having to do anything diplomatic.

 

In reality, a princess is the daughter of a political king and queen and has real responsibilities that involve her making decisions and taking part in diplomatic things. Never would have thought that Disney is making an influence like that through their princesses.

 

Although, most of the princesses are from older movies, I’ve noticed that only a few have been added in the past decade. It's nice to see Disney moving away from the fantasy of princesses and toward the reality of the challenges that come in life. (Regardless of all of this, Pocahontas is still my favorite!) - [CT]

 

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Disney's Aladdin: Insightful or detrimental perspective of Arab culture? A Feminist critique

Disney's Aladdin: Insightful or detrimental perspective of Arab culture? A Feminist critique | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
A Feminist Disney Review of Disney’s Aladdin… Final Feminist Rating: **~ 2.5/4 stars (see bottom for breakdown)
Aladdin is one of my favorite Disney films, and as a little girl Jasmine was one of my...
Group Five's insight:

In this artricle the author actually found some admirable traits about Jasmine.  As a person she admired the drie that took her character to turn the disney princess sterotype "on it's head."  This was accomplished by Jasmine running from rather than to her prince.  She also fond amirable the fact that Disney showed parts of the kingdom that wre currently 'off limits' to disney kingdom protrayals: poverty was displayed.  Although this fact was disporven by Snow White, who lived in abject poverty herself.  As these good points were refreshing to hear, her minor deviation was forgotten.

 

With these praises given, the author then begins to devolve into a predictable deliniation of Disney false depictions.  Examples of these include sterotypical Arab distortions: degress of how Arabic one looks being equal to holding evil character traits.  After a predictable rant is delivered against this, the author takes affront at depictions of poverty, especially as she finds the fact that one could "work there way out of it" as mythical.  While her orginization is good, the fact that the author damits that many of her sources were taken "freely" from internet sources such as Cracked.  Whatever it may lack in honesty, it seems to try to make up for in earnestness.  An interesting read although little is taken to hide the bias of the author. - ARG

 

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Tonto: An upgrade or just an updated stereotype?

Tonto: An upgrade or just an updated stereotype? | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Just in time for the birthday of the nation that was founded on the decimation of its native inhabitants, Johnny Depp leaps onto 3,700 theaters across the United States as Tonto, that mothballed stereotype of American Indians, in Disney’s...
Group Five's insight:

In an article for the Daily Herald, the author of "Tonto: An upgrade or just an updated sterotype?" examines the depiction of Tonto in the latest Lone Ranger film.  In an arguement that lashes out against the appropriation of Native America for consumption by America, the author attempts to show that Disney's Lone Ranger might provide an opportunity for communication.  

A slight bias from the author is present from the very beginning.  This is evident in that the first sentence imarks the July 4th opening of the movie next to the birthday of a nation "founded on the discrimination of its native inhabitants."  The author is quick to point out many criticial items about Johnny Depp's Tonto.  In delviering the characters lines, Johnny Depp's Tonto's maintains its "affected" and "halting" cadence.  In appaerance, the author points out that Tonto appears to be a "blend of sterotype" not necessarily of cultures,--buit rather a blending of Johnny Depp's prior roles.  The largest influence is Jack Sparrow in PIrates of the Carribean.  An outfit that Keene, a Harvard University Ph.D. student found to be "even more like blackface... like masking the race."  The setting of the movie is a landscapte historically depicted as "a manifest destiny for white settlers." 

 

Despite such obstacles however, the author goes to Naive American voices for hope.  Paul Chatt Smith, associate curator of the National Museum of hte Amnerican Indian noted that the opening of hte Lone Ranger caused interest in his museum and "therfore it's an opportunity to advance the conversation [of native cultures]."  La Donna Harris, the founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity, beleives that despite the complaints recieved from Johhny Depps portrayal, his stature  gave the role of Native Americans in the West a visibiltiy they would not have otherwise recieved.  

 

At the conclusion of his piece however, one finds the author without a genuine conclusion.  THe author makes it evident that Tonto has stood as a symbol of Native American sterotypes.  The author then points out that the character may serve as a conduit for change.  The article then stops.  It talks of no plans to capitalize off possibilities, but merely reactions. - ARG  ,  

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Does Tiana, Disney’s First Black Princess, Conquer Stereotypes? - NYTimes.com

Does Tiana, Disney’s First Black Princess, Conquer Stereotypes? - NYTimes.com | Women and Minorities in Disney Movies | Scoop.it
Disney is coming out with its first major black heroine later this year in "The Frog and the Princess," but to the dismay of Disney executives, the film is attracting chatter of an uglier nature.
Group Five's insight:

This article discussed the controversy over the release of "The Princess & the Frog" back in 2009. This film features the first black Disney princess and there is debate over offending the black community and the controversy of the fact that she is a frog during most of the film. Princess Tiana is depicted in a strong and confident manner in the film. Although she is not saved by a prince, it shows that she is intelligent and can take care of herself. The point of having a black princess is to show the beauty of African American women.

 

The animation of her physical attributes and language can be a topic up for much debate. Whether or not the animation and her culture truly represent an African American woman is often what gets the attention. However, I think Disney is great for attempting to add diversity to their movies.

 

Despite what critics may argue, I think it’s great that they are adding a black princess into the mix. Since we have an ever changing world and America is such a melting pot, why not have every race represented?

 

Disney is moving in the right direction in regards to diversity to keep up with an ever changing society; especially, in America where Disney has one of its most widely reached audiences. In terms of the animation, they may have to work on it some. But, they are on the right track in terms of story and the time they spent in New Orleans studying the culture should come out in the final product. - [CT]

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